Over the course of six painful months, round after round of fraught negotiations between Greece and its creditors produced all manner of speculation about what a "Grexit" would actually entail.
With no precedent to turn to for guidance, mapping out the implications of an exit from the currency bloc was (and still is) a virtually impossible task, but the collective efforts of the sellside, the mainstream media, political analysts, and economists did manage to produce a veritable smorgasbord of diagrams, decision trees, flowcharts, and schematics, in a futile attempt to map the complex interplay of politics, economics, and financial concerns that would invariably follow if Athens decided to finally break off its ill-fated relationship with Brussels.
And it wasn’t just outside observers drawing up Grexit plans. Despite the fact that EU officials denied the existence of a “Plan B” right up until German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble’s “swift time-out” alternative was “leaked” last weekend, no one outside of polite eurocrat circles pretends that a Greek exit wasn’t contemplated all along and indeed Yanis Varoufakis contends that Athens was threatened with capital controls as early as February if it did not acquiesce to creditor demands.
Now, in what is perhaps the most shocking revelation yet about what EU officials really thought may happen in the event Greece crashed out of the EMU and unceremoniously reintroduced the drachma, Kathimerini is out with a description of what the Greek daily calls the "Grexit Black Book," which purportedly contained the suggestion that civil war would breakout in Greece in the event the country was forced out of the currency bloc.
Here’s more (Google translated):
On the 13th floor of the building Verlaymont in Brussels, a few meters from the office of the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, stored in a special security room and in a safe Greece's exit plan from the Eurozone. There, in a multi-page volume, written in less than a month from 15-member team of the European Commission, answered questions on how to tackle such an outflow, including, as shocking as it may sound, even the possibility of the country out of the Treaty Schengen, and not only being driven outside the euro, but also outside the EU
According to European official, in that the European Commission Summit already had a bound volume, a multi-page document, which described the Greek prime minister, before the start of the session, by the same Mr. Juncker with all the details of a Grexit , giving him to understand the legal and political context of such a decision. In multipage document in accordance with European official who has the ability to know its contents, there are detailed answers to 200 questions that would arise in case Grexit.
These questions, as he explains official, are interrelated, as an exit from the euro would create a cascade of events, which would evolve in a relatively short time. From the drachmopoiisi economy to foreign exchange controls that would take place at the country's borders and which will ultimately lead at the exit of Greece from the Schengen Treaty.
The authors of the draft, according to European official, conducted under conditions of absolute secrecy. A special group of 15 people of the European Commission, by direct contact with Greece started to prepare, and was also in direct contact with a number of senior officials and DGs in the European Commission who had expertise in specific areas. The writing of the project started when the expiry date of the program (end of June) was approaching, so it is the Commission prepared for every eventuality, and by the time the referendum was announced, Friday, June 26, the relevant procedures were accelerated. The weekend of the work referendum intensified, so now two days later, Tuesday of that Synod, the project has been finalized.
According to well-informed source, involved in creating the plan worked "suffer the pain" as typically describe the "K" and "overwhelmed" because they could not believe that things had reached this point, and most of them had direct involvement with the Greek rescue programs. The European Commission also was hoped that even until the last minute solution would be found as members of this group knew better than anyone the consequences exit of Greece from the Eurozone and understand the cost of such a decision. One of those involved with direct knowledge of Greek reality in the critical phase of the training, he said the rest of the group that "if implemented this plan, the streets of Athens will sound tracks of tanks."
Sight unseen, it's not entirely clear what is meant by "will sound the tracks of tanks," and we assume the suggestion is not that the EU and its constituent member states would somehow seek to orchestrate a military takeover of the Greek state in the event Athens makes the 'wrong' decision about EMU membership.
Rather, the suggestion seems to be - and again this is simply an interpretation based on the information presented by Kathimerini - that Brussels was of the opinion that the referendum results together with the divergent rhetoric emanating from Greek lawmakers on the right and far-left betrayed the degree to which the Greek people were deeply divided. Although Tsipras' concessions will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for politics and Greek society in general, it looks as though Brussels feared that the economic malaise that would have resulted from redenomination might have triggered widespread social unrest that would ultimately have to be brought under control by the Greek army.
We'll leave it to readers to determine both the accuracy of our interpretation and the degree to which the "secret" document's mention of "tanks" represented an accurate assessment of the situation versus yet another attempt to scare Tsipras into capitulating, but one thing is for sure, even mentioning the possibility that "the streets of Athens" will be occupied by the military doesn't seem like something one "partner" would say to another.